USA

Mail
Four people are dead and dozens have been arrested after Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the US Capitol and clashed with police in a bid to stop Joe Biden’s victory being certified.    Ashli Babbit was the first person confirmed dead after she was shot in the chest when she and dozens of other protesters breached security perimeters at the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon.  Babbit’s husband revealed her identity to San Diego news outlet KUSI. He said Babbit was a 14-year veteran who served four tours with Air Force as a ‘high level security official’, a fervent supporter of Trump and ‘a great patriot to all who knew her’.  It remains unclear who shot Babbit as the Metropolitan Police Department in DC conducts an investigation into her death.

Times
Thousands of President Trump’s supporters stormed the US Capitol to bring a violent halt to the formal confirmation of his election defeat yesterday after he urged them to “take back the country”. The mob overran police who were unable to prevent an invasion of the Senate and drew their guns to defend the House of Representatives as Democrats and Republicans alike pulled on gas masks and sheltered under desks and staff hid in their offices. Shots were fired in the Capitol grounds and one woman, a Trump-supporting air force veteran, died after being struck in the neck. An explosive device was said to have been found.

Sun
AT LEAST four people have died and several others have been seriously injured during a violent siege on Capitol Hill in Washington DC. Hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building where bloody clashes erupted in Congress on Wednesday. The violence erupted as rioters fought cops and pushed their way inside the building as members of Congress were meeting to vote and certify Joe Biden as the winner of the presidential election. It came moments after Trump addressed his supporters at a nearby rally. “We’re going to walk down to the Capitol,” he told his supporters earlier on Wednesday. “And we’re gonna cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women.

Express
DONALD TRUMP supporters stormed Congress in Washington and clashed with police as tempers exploded on Wednesday. Donald Trump supporters stormed Congress in Washington following a speech by the President on Wednesday. Rioters roamed around the building, smashing some windows and posing for photographs, before being forced out by police reinforcements.  Police have confirmed four people died, one after being shot by a Capital police officer inside Congress with the other three killed by unspecified “medical emergencies”. Mike Pence and Nancy Pelosi were among those who were rushed out of the building in astonishing scenes from the US capital.

Mail
A mob of angered Trump supporters has occupied the front lawn of Washington’s Democratic Governor Jay Inslee’s mansion as they also surrounded state capitols in Texas, California, Georgia, Michigan, Kansas and Oklahoma.  While chaos gripped Washington D.C., where one woman has been shot dead and dozens of police officers injured, protesters made their way to Inslee’s Olympia home where one state trooper stood guard.  The trooper urged members of the crowd to stand back but they quickly surrounded the building chanting and he was forced to retreat to stand guard in front of the door.  The crowd, which included several armed protesters, was pushed back as more state troopers arrived at around 6.30pm EST. Troopers said the governor remained safe.

ITV News
Joe Biden’s presidential win has been formally approved by the US Congress, just hours after four people died when pro-Trump supporters stormed the Capitol. Fuelled by the president’s false allegations that November’s election was “stolen” and “rigged”, hundreds of angry Trump supporters fought past police and breached the home of America’s federal government to demand lawmakers stop November’s presidential election from being ratified. Police shot dead one woman inside the Capitol and another three others died from “medical emergencies”. Fifty-two people have been arrested. Trump’s unbased allegations fanned the flames for thousands of protesters outside the White House early on Wednesday, where he goaded them to march to the Capitol, many of whom did. Senators were forced to flee Congress as protesters smashed windows and doors to enter the Capitol.

Mirror
Four have died as violent Donald Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol in scenes described as “as close to a coup attempt this country has ever seen”.  A woman was shot dead by police during clashes inside the Capitol building and three others were reported to have died on Wednesday evening in Washington. The historic building was forced into lockdown and the National Guard had to be called in to restore order. A further three people died of separate “medical emergencies” on the Capitol grounds while police have made 52 arrests. An Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was also found on the grounds of the US Capitol, as President-elect Joe Biden described the horrifying scenes as an “insurrection”.

BBC News
US lawmakers have certified Joe Biden’s election victory, hours after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an attack that saw four people die. One woman was shot by police, while three others died as a result of “medical emergencies”, officials said. The mob, which had been encouraged by President Trump, stormed the building in a bid to overturn the election result, suspending a Congress session. The president-elect blasted the “insurrection”. President Donald Trump later called on them to “go home” while continuing to make false claims of electoral fraud. Twitter and Facebook later froze his accounts.

Telegraph
The images of angry hordes storming the US Capitol will forever taint Donald Trump’s legacy and marked one of the darkest moments in America’s recent political history. As his most fervent supporters scaled the walls of the hallowed seat of US democracy, many Americans watching on television around the country were shocked, appalled and disgusted. A bitterly divided United States will struggle to recover from a day that shook the country to its foundations. Watching the anarchic scenes of Trump supporters in red hats wandering the corridors of power, many Republicans will have decided they do not still want to be in a party led by Mr Trump. To many it looked like sedition, an attempted coup, and Mr Trump failed to stop it, even encouraged it. It was hard to see how the relationship between the president and the Republican party could recover.

Express
DONALD TRUMP has been locked out of his Twitter account for 12 hours after the social media platform removed two of his tweets. Twitter deleted two of President Donald Trump’s tweets on Wednesday as protests continue in Washington. Violent protests in Washington broke out ahead of Congress certifying Joe Biden’s US election win. Video footage shows thousands of protestors storming the building and fighting police. As a result of the demonstrations, the joint session of Congress certifying President-elect Biden’s victory was suspended and forced into recess.  The first of the tweets deleted was a video which Facebook and YouTube already removed from their sites. In the video Mr Trump falsely claimed to have won November’s US election.  He also said that he “loved” the protestors who stormed Congress and called them “very special”.

BBC News
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has condemned the “disgraceful scenes” in the US, after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed Congress and clashed with police. Rioters breached the Capitol building where lawmakers met to confirm Joe Biden’s presidential election victory. The PM said it was “vital that there should be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power”. And Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said it was a “direct attack on democracy”. “The United States stands for democracy around the world and it is now vital that there should be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power,” Mr Johnson tweeted.

City AM
The disturbance at Capitol Hill derailed the process of certifying the Biden electoral victory for a number of hours last night but was then resumed so the final confirmation of Biden’s win should be relatively straightforward.  Moreover, the FTSE 100 had a stellar run yesterday as it closed up more than 3 per cent and it hit its highest level since level early March. For the third day in a row, the FTSE 100 was the best performer in terms of percentage gains of the major European indices but keep in mind it lagged behind its continental equivalents and now it appears that it is catching up, David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK, tells City A.M. this morning. “The British index largely had a handful of mining, banking and oil stocks to thank for its impressive run this week.”

Brexit deal

Mail
Britain must not sign a Brexit deal for the City which leaves the industry as an EU ‘rule-taker’, the Bank of England’s governor warned yesterday. Andrew Bailey, whose first year at the Bank has been marred by the pandemic and Brexit jitters, said the UK could not simply pay ‘any price’ to reach a financial services agreement with the continent. Though the UK’s £130billion financial sector is one of the biggest parts of the economy, contributing around 7 per cent of output per year, City firms were largely left out of the EU trade deal signed by the Prime Minister last month. The Treasury plans to sign a ‘memorandum of understanding’ with the EU by the spring detailing how their relationship over financial services will continue.  One option is so-called equivalence, where the UK and the EU agree to grant each other access to their markets if they deem their rules are closely enough aligned. But while the UK’s financial sector has granted the EU equivalence in 17 areas, Europe has so far refused to reciprocate.

Lockdown

Breitbart
England’s chief medical officer has said that there could be another lockdown next winter, seemingly regardless of whether the vaccine rollout is successful. Professor Chris Whitty made the remarks during a Downing Street press conference alongside Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday evening. Predicting that even if the risk level for infection is lowered due to vaccine rollouts, the chief medical officer suggested that restrictions would be imposed on Britons for the foreseeable future.  On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a third national lockdown in England with effectively no firm end date, saying only that “if things go well”, restrictions may start to be lifted in late February. Less than 24 hours later, senior minister Michael Gove extended the soft deadline further, pushing it back to March. Whitty said of easing lockdown: “What is going to happen over time is that the risk level is going to gradually decrease…things will be able to be lifted by degrees, possibly at different rates in different parts of the country.”

Vaccine

Mail
Approval of Covid vaccine batches is to be sped up drastically in a huge boost to the jab campaign. Amid growing concern over the slow pace of the rollout, sources told the Mail that testing would be cut from up to 20 days to just four. The Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency, which is responsible for the checks, is also to increase staffing in a bid to accelerate the mass vaccination programme. It has just approved a second consignment of 500,000 doses of the Oxford jab – taking supplies beyond one million. It comes as the jab, produced together with AstraZeneca, starts to be rolled out from GP surgeries today. The expansion today comes amid hope that more than 700 sites will be delivering vaccines by the end of the week. Seven mass vaccination centres will open next week in London, Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Surrey and Stevenage. The vaccine is crucial because it is much easier to distribute than the Pfizer version, which needs storage at minus 70C.

Telegraph
After a year of missed targets and disappointments, Boris Johnson has not been deterred from making his latest Covid goal as ambitious and more important than any other. Britain has stolen an early lead in the race to inoculate its economy from long Covid but needs to ramp up its vaccine roll-out to lift restrictions squeezing the life out of sectors from restaurants to retail. The prime minister has set a “realistic” mid-February target to deliver the first jab dose to the top four priority groups – about 14m people who have suffered nine-tenths of Covid deaths.  The prize is big for the countries that can execute a roll-out quickly: shorter restrictions means smaller economic damage, a lower unemployment peak, fewer insolvencies and an earlier end to the public borrowing binge.  A rapid recovery is “heavily dependent on delivery of the vaccine roll-out programme, allowing restrictions to be eased from the end of the seasonal flu season in April and completely lifted by the end of June”, says Morgan Stanley economist Jacob Nell.

Express
A THIRD coronavirus jab – administered in a single-shot – could be approved in time to join the UK’s vaccination rollout, it is claimed. The jab by pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, if approved in time, would help the Government reach its immunisation target of 13.2 million people by mid-February, the Daily Telegraph reports. Health officials have also confirmed patients in England will start to get Oxford and AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines from their GP surgeries as of Thursday.  The UK has ordered up to 52 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine. The move forms part of the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history. Nadhim Zahawi, minister for Covid-19 Vaccine Deployment, has told Sky News the goal of 13.2 million people requires a “herculean effort”. So far, 1.3 million doses have been administered.

Yahoo News
High street pharmacies will start to offer shots of the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine next week as part of the government’s push to immunise more than 13 million of the most vulnerable people in the UK before mid-February. The news comes amid calls for the NHS to urgently expand the number of vaccination sites, with the British Medical Association urging every GP surgery in the country to join the vaccination effort amid soaring rates of infection and record numbers of Covid patients in hospital.  A quarter of deaths registered in England and Wales in the week before Christmas were Covid related, the highest weekly proportion since mid-May. Of a total of 11,520 deaths registered across England and Wales in the week to 25 December, 2,912 (25.3%) mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, bringing the total to 92,070 as of 5 January. The pharmacies will offer shots of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine either on their premises or at designated sites following an NHS approval process that began in November. The health service is assessing 200 sites led by community pharmacies such as Boots and Lloyds which have committed to delivering more than 1,000 shots each a week.

Europe

Mail
Britons may understandably be feeling more than a little frustrated with their leaders right now during this new and more vicious phase of the pandemic. Covid infections are soaring in the UK, there are more patients hospitalised than at the peak of the first wave and, tragically, daily deaths yesterday topped the 1,000 mark. Then there is fury over your school closures, a developing row over who should get the vaccine — young or old — and problems with supply and distribution. Yes, you may feel things look grim, but let me tell you that many of us here in Europe are looking across the Channel with envy. The sclerotic and sluggish EU machine has, unforgivably, botched the roll-out of the vaccines, and the consequences are likely to prove fatal to many thousands of our citizens. The pandemic is almost a year old and EU leaders could have and should have seen the need for a swift, effective vaccine policy a mile off.

EU

Express
A FORMER French MEP has launched a furious attack against the Project Fear warnings and propaganda coming out of the European Union, warning ‘Frexit’ – the country’s own departure from the bloc – must happen “quickly”. French President Emmanuel Macron has been hugely critical of Brexit since the historic referendum in 2016, with his Government regularly threatening to deadlock talks by voting down agreements if the terms did not adhere to their red lines. But now huge pressure is building on the French President, with the coined phrase ‘Frexit’ gathering significant pace on social media and even among France’s own MEPs. Florian Philippot, who was Vice President of the National Front in France establishing The Patriots party in September 2017, claimed the scaremongering over the UK’s departure shows Europhiles have now become “very uneasy”.  The former MEP of five years tweeted: “When the much-advertised (and desired) Brexit disaster does not occur, they claim the consequences will be visible over ten years.

Express
DONALD TUSK has sparked fury by urging the UK to work with Brussels to “react together to the Chinese repressions in Hong Kong” – despite him once raging during Brexit negotiations there is a “special place in hell” for Brexiteers without a plan. The former European Council President was a key figure during the negotiations on a Brexit Withdrawal Agreement between the EU and UK, frequently criticising Britain’s negotiating stance and often mocking then-Prime Minister Theresa May. But now Mr Tusk is urging the UK to come to the EU’s aide and help fight back against China over the draconian security law Beijing imposed on Hong Kong last year. He wrote on Twitter: “The EU and UK should react together to the Chinese repressions in Hong Kong.  “Let us show that despite Brexit, we are still a community when it comes to universal rights.”

Education

Mail
Fury erupted after Britain’s biggest teaching union sent a ‘gloating’ email telling members ‘You did it!’ after Boris Johnson closed all schools in Monday night’s lockdown announcement. Teachers were left appalled by the victorious tone of the message from the left-wing National Education Union (NEU) to its 500,000 members at the decision which left nine million pupils locked out of schools for the entire half term. Tory MPs also condemned the ‘appalling triumphalism’ of the militant NEU’s email and said if the union was representing shop workers, all the supermarkets would have closed months ago. The NEU’s message to its members last night (TUE) said: ‘We want to start by congratulating you all. It is never easy to stand up and be counted. It takes nerve and courage. ‘But you did it. You stood up for your own safety, for your pupils, their families and your communities.’

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